For those who don’t remember I am a big UVA fan. Have been since I was a kid, so fair warning that this is an opinion column and some of the things I say will not make Hokies fans happy. But stay with me, because what I have to say may make sense in the long run.
It was announced early Saturday morning that the Commonwealth Cup game between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech has been postponed at the request of Virginia Tech officials. The reason was due to COVID-19 issues at Tech, and they also announced they will pause football practices for four fays to address the issues.
In a season that already has been mired in controversy and unknowns, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that we are canceling and postponing games already. But the problem here is not that COVID-19 postponed the game, it is that Virginia Tech has been trying to keep this quiet the entire time.
In early August, Virginia Tech standout cornerback Caleb Farley opted out of the season due to health concerns. Farley wanted to work towards getting ready for the NFL Draft and felt opting out was the best opportunity. But as a final parting gift Farley blew the whistle on concerns he had over the way the school and football program were following protocols.
He said players were coming back from Myrtle Beach, which at the time had the highest rate in the country, and not being tested, and also said one day he looked around and there were over 100 players and coaches in their indoor practice facility and no one had masks on.
Add to that the fact that Virginia Tech has not publicly released their testing numbers or positive tests and that raises many red flags. UVA has released their numbers on a regular basis, and after a string of fewer than 10 players for UVA tested positive right after July 4, the Cavaliers have had zero positive tests from their football program.
This is the difference in the two programs. You may think I am crazy, but it takes every single player, coach and staff member working towards a common goal to make this work. If the players aren’t committed to the program or to playing football this season then they aren’t going to follow the rules, and they will end up contracting the virus and in turn spreading it.
Rumor has it that between positive tests and contract tracing, there are close to 60 Hokie players quarantining. 60, think about that. Head coach Justin Fuente said that if they had to play next week they wouldn’t even be able to field a team. Well I’m sorry coach, maybe you and your staff can reign your players in and get them focused on playing football this season.
I am obviously biased, as heated rivals you always pick one team or the other and you have a hatred for the other team. Not a real hatred, but in a sports rivalry kind of hatred. But when it comes to doing what is right and getting everyone to buy in, it is obvious that Bronco Mendenhall and the UVA football program have it together and Fuente and the Hokies have a lot to work on.
I bet Frank Beamer wouldn’t have had any positive tests coming out of Blacksburg.
To add to the already heated rivalry, players and coaches took to Twitter Saturday to trash talk each other and make the game become even more intense when they finally face off.
No make up date has been officially set at this time, but it appears that it will be in November when the teams face off. That’s if the Hokies can figure out how to get their players and other staff to focus on football.
Until next time.